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Collaborating to Advance the Profession

Gary L. Gassman

It’s hard to believe we are over halfway through the 2022–2023 bar year and my year as Chair of the Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS). On behalf of my fellow officers, TIPS staff, and our partner sponsors, I thank you for a successful year so far! It has been wonderful to see so many people in person at our Fall Meeting in Scottsdale in October 2022, the ABA Midyear Meeting in New Orleans in February 2023, and many of our stand-alone programs.

TIPS strives to stay on top of current and cutting-edge legal issues. In this issue of The Brief, we examine “The New Risk Environment,” with articles on automated lending fraud risks, financial institution bond and commercial crime policy claims, preparing for a data breach, the implications of climate change litigation on insurers, claims for breach of insurance contract versus the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, imputed conflicts of interest, proposed amendments to Federal Rule of Evidence 702, and the Texas two-step bankruptcy strategy. We thank our authors and editors for their hard work and encourage every TIPS member to contribute to our publications. It’s a great way to gain exposure and hone your expertise, and the publications serve as an excellent marketing tool for business and networking. We hope you enjoy this edition!

This year, we have continued to advance the TIPS focus on membership; education; diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) initiatives; and giving back to our communities, both legal and civic. We are progressing with advancements in our flagship Financial Literacy Project in partnership with Thomson Reuters, developed to increase financial education throughout the U.S., with a special emphasis on helping underserved communities and youth populations. If you have any questions about TIPS projects and initiatives in this regard, or ideas or suggestions for future projects, please reach out to TIPS Diversity Officer Akira Heshiki or Floyd Holloway and Roscoe Mutz, cochairs of the TIPS Law in Public Service Committee. We look forward to your involvement in that planning!

We have had some incredibly successful and completely in-person stand-alone programs this year, including the 21st National Trial Academy; Aviation Litigation Conference; Fidelity & Surety Law Fall, Midwinter, and Spring Conferences; Business Litigation Conference; Insurance Coverage Litigation Conference; Transportation Megaconference; Admiralty & Maritime Law Conference; Motor Vehicle Product Liability Conference; and Toxic Torts & Environmental Law Conference. We encourage everyone to participate in our program planning for the TIPS 2023–2024 bar year! If you have ideas for webinars or programs or want to collaborate with other committees, please reach out to Janet Hummons ([email protected]) on our staff.

We recently held elections for a new class of Council members; TIPS Vice-Chair for 2023–2024, who will become Chair-Elect and ultimately Chair for the 2025–2026 bar year; Secretary; and one House of Delegates (HOD) representative. Beginning their terms in August 2023, we are thrilled to congratulate Marcy Greer on her election to Vice-Chair, Meade Mitchell on his election to Secretary, John McMeekin on his election to HOD representative, and Council members Jason Hirshon, Jordan Howlette, Troy Larkin, Anna Romanskaya, and Judge Ramona See. We thank Holly Polglase for her incredible service as a TIPS HOD representative for the last six years. If you are interested in serving on Council, please reach out to Theresa Livingston ([email protected]) for more information. The next elections will be held at the ABA Midyear Meeting in February 2024 in Louisville, Kentucky.

We also selected the next TIPS Leadership Academy class for the 2023–2024 bar year, which will meet for the first time at the TIPS Fall Meeting this October in Nassau, Bahamas. The Leadership Academy is held every other year. We are proud that many of our Leadership Academy graduates have gone on to be TIPS leaders and look forward to the future accomplishments and continued TIPS participation of our recent Leadership Academy graduates and the next class.

As we continue to meet in person and expand membership and attendance, we welcome your ideas about how TIPS can better adapt, communicate, and meet the needs of all members, regardless of age or years in practice, who are paramount to our future success and the endurance of the practice of law as a profession, a business, and a defining part of our TIPS culture. We implore you to participate and lend your voice to the continued challenges of the economy, the political climate, and reopening and renewing the practice of law. Again, we ask what you would like to see, what we are doing right, and what could be better. This collaboration is essential for our continued evolution as an organization and to ensure we provide value to all of our members and prospective members.

I am honored to serve TIPS and its members and look forward to seeing you in the coming months!

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Gary L. Gassman


Chair, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section